A task force has been formed to explore Metro’s Fareless System Initiative (FSI), according to a memo to Pasadena City Manager Stever Mermell from city Transportation Director Laura Cornejo.
The initial goal of the task force is to conduct a pilot program that would provide free fares. It was not immediately known if fares would be free for everyone under the pilot program.
“As part of this effort, an Ad Hoc Committee was formed that included the other transit operators in the region to provide feedback to Metro on potential financial and technical challenges with FSI,” Cornejo wrote. “As one of the locally funded transit agencies in the region, Pasadena is a member of this Ad Hoc Committee.”
The Metro board voted to also include municipal and local transit operators in the FSI effort as a means of recognizing the complex regional transit network in Los Angeles County.
Although Metro is the largest transit agency in the region, there are numerous other agencies in the county that would also be impacted by Metro’s fareless system.
Pasadena is one of more than 40 transit operators that are funded primarily by local funding. Sixteen municipal operators receive federal or state dedicated transit funding that local operators do not receive.
The Metro board has voted to implement the FSI subject to a final financial plan and cost-sharing agreements that would be reviewed by the Metro Board prior to implementation.
Pasadena staff is actively engaged in the FSI coordination between Metro and the other transit agencies in the region.
Pasadena Transit currently does have a number of fare subsidy programs in place. Older adults, individuals with a disability, low income residents (including k-12 students), as well as students of ArtCenter, Caltech, and Pasadena City College all have access to free or significantly reduced fares. The city is reimbursed for the majority of these subsidized trips.